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The Matchbox Project

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show's over - left on a window sill of a pub, abercrombie st, chippendale [29 Mar 2009|10:19pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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If this project has taught me anything, it's that there is an abundance of ridiculous stationary out there. These little clip men look like they'd glow in the dark, I'm yet to check!

It's been quite a week and by Friday I'd shriveled up in the corner of the gallery that I was sitting, getting sick after working 10 days straight. It wasn't so terrible, I got a few days rest and was taken very good care of.

This week I got a new role at work that I'm super stoked about!! I start in two days and I've got that very familiar excited/terrified-I-may-be-crap feeling in my stomach. Fingers crossed everything will be alright. I also opened my first solo show, which was one of the best nights ever. The gallery itself was inside a historic house in the suburbs where I grew up. It was very stately and made setting up and gallery sitting feel pretty grand. My bestest friend Tony Curran curated and made my work look and feel so clean yet shiny and I was stoked to work with him again. After much debate, his design for my exhibition worked and I couldn't have been happier. In addition to his technical support, he also doubled (tripled?? quadrupled!) as a photographer, speech minder and wardrobe assistant on the night. Thank you Tony, I couldn't have done it without you.

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The highlight of the night was having Federal MP and ex-journo hero Maxine McKew show up and open my show. She is one classy, charming, smiley lady. And she knew stuff about me! Awesome. In the end, I can't believe I got paid to make that project. I was so happy with how it turned out! I think it may have been one of the best things I've ever made. And I got to meet two high school girls who read this blog who made it along on the night. It was lovely to meet you.

The show's still on and will be open Wed-Thur (1-2 April) from 11-4pm at Brush Farm House, 19 Lawson street, Eastwood. More pics and reviews here!

XX

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happy birthday mama bear [20 Mar 2009|03:52pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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There's nothing like a bit of competition to motivate! I went to check out the Vanishing Point gallery in Newtown today with the boy, and the Matchbox Projects were showing. I'd heard of them before and people often confuse this project with theirs, which is more of a travelling capsule collections type show. I was busy sticky-beaking at their specially made matchboxes (apparently you can get them from Japan but have to order 10,000 at a time! whoa, I think I'm sticking to cut and paste!) when the boy asked whether they'd heard about the other matchbox project. They had and suddenly it was excitement all round. Our projects are very different so it's not really competition but they've got a new concept coming up, where they're asking people to put stuff in matchboxes and submit them for a collection of theirs.

One of the twins behind the project was describing how they had to fit inside the parameters of the box, how the box had to close and giving me many suggestions. And I had to laugh because that exact creative predicament has been following me around every week now for about 2 years!

This little gift comes from the Blackbird Corner again, so generous ladies! You make my work easy!! This one will be given though, as soon as I saw it I knew exactly who it belonged to. It's Mama bear's birthday on Sunday and she used to have a doll just like this (with an accompanying husband boy doll) in our house when I was growing up. Plus she's more into mobile accessorising than I am!

I got written up in Coolhunting.com today! Which was a very nice way to start the morning, especially cos I had the day off.

Next week's a big week for me, I'm having my first solo exhibition. I'm excited but will be a little terrified also until it opens. This time it's not the Matchbox project but a combined local history and photographic project I've been working on over the past few months. A very gentle work that seeks to explore on a very personal level, what it means to belong to a physical place. It's all about suburban espionage and it was great fun making. I got the photos back today and I'm stoked! If you're in the area please come along, ex journo and now Federal MP Maxine McKew is opening it! I might just try and hug her..

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mega laziness continues [23 Feb 2009|07:36pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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I seem to be quite good at packing and photographing matchboxes but rather terrible at leaving them around the place of late. I think it's because I generally go to the same places and forget a bit. But if you have any suggestions about dispersion or distribution, I'd be keen to hear them! I currently have about 3 or 4 packed boxes in my purse. Just waiting....

This itty bitty pirate puzzle comes from Blackbird Corner, so thank you again N!

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love and donations [18 Feb 2009|11:41am]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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On Valentines Day there were loud protests all around the place from people who claimed they didn't 'do' the hallmark holiday. I just wanted to give them all a chocolate and tell them that everything was going to be okay.

A week before, there was a knock at the door and I left my apple pie to find a small package with large curvy handwriting on the front. My friend Anna who I met at uni had made me a box! Yay!! Ever the perfectionist, she had waited about a year until she found the right thing. I wrote saying thank you and she replied, saying she liked that it had eyes. I have some really great memories of doing little things with Anna, like listening to shells she brought back from overseas and eating jelly beans in Hyde Park.. after she saved me all the colours that I liked (red and white). Thank you Anna!

I've been writing a bit for Lost at E Minor, which has been great fun cos I can write about anything really, like this gnome repository I found near my home. It's my last week at my house, I'm moving on the weekend so have said goodbye to the black neighbourhood cat that likes to wander uninvited into my bedroom and even left a fresh gnome for the local collector. But I'm mega excited about the move, I'm going to have internet access again! YAY!

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treasure trove [09 Feb 2009|05:49pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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My most favourite stockist of small things sent me a very fat package last week, bringing lots of tiny pieces of joy to what had been a very tiring week. These little erasers made me so happy and I want to keep them all, especially the turtle one! And thankfully two of both the gingerbread and ice cream cone erasers arrived so I won't feel so awful about keeping those. Many thanks to Nici at Blackbird Corner!

It's back to work tomorrow, I'm working in the newsroom full time for a few weeks. I love it except for the early starts, leaving home before 6am never gets easier.

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itty bitty sugarary flowers [01 Feb 2009|05:34pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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I was stoked to find that Redheads had released yet another round of special matchboxes, celebrating an anniversary of some sort. They are ten times cuter than the ones they had last year - I love them!! They're sleeker and need no extra decoration... sometimes I get lazy.

Today I was informed that a month-iversary was not the same as an anniversary. I asked whether I should take the cupcakes back then? But it was all too late.

Oh dear, in the flurry of this afternoon, the cupcake buying and haircutting, the photographing, reading and napping I didn't resize the picture right. But I kind of like it gigantic!

Happy Sunday.

x

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fun fairs and failed drop offs - left in the park outside bill & george studios, redfern [20 Jan 2009|07:34pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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I accidentally fell asleep in a park on New Years Eve, stargazing had made me weary and I awoke slowly, disorientated by my surroundings. A red headed boy giggled quietly as he dangled a bouquet of multicoloured balloons over my head. They bobbed up and down and into each other and in the distance, I could make out someone with a very deep voice shouting ‘THREE LEGGED RACES!!’ Was I at a fair?

I feel similarly woozy at the moment, a happy sort of disorientation, I’ve been overseas for a week and am trying to get my bearings again. My body still feels like a log which I hope to fix today, I have to be at work very early tomorrow morning to help cover the Obama inauguration yay! Apparently in the States they’re making Barocky Road ice cream. I want.

I've been terrible and haven't dropped a box in 3 weeks! Determined to fix the problem four times over this week.


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peanuts - left on a train headed towards Chatswood [09 Jan 2009|04:33pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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It was one of those ridiculous items that I had to own immediately. The movie and the creme brulee choc top had to wait because I had spied a glass vase of 3-D peanut erasers on the counter of a fancy gift store. $1 later it was in my pocket and I could get on with my evening.

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ssshh.. they're sleeping - the matchbox projects meets the box doodle project [03 Jan 2009|12:40pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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After spending new years eve picnicking in a park and new years day watching Entourage after Entourage episode, digging into fish and chips and hanging out at the movies we decided it was time to stop consuming and start making. And so armed with some paint, ink and a matchbox I set out to make my contribution to the very lovely box doodle project. A little short of supplies (a large bread knife failed in the place of scissors and the piece of black thread I found on the floor was too short), it turned out to be very basic. But I like it, they're resting.

Happy new year.

x

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happy sugary sweet things - accidentally abandoned somewhere on NYE [29 Dec 2008|05:55pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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My youngest brother ran to greet me when I arrived back at my parent's house on Christmas Eve before giving me what turned out to be one of many bear hugs of the night. It was nice to go home, there was food aplenty, an oversized Christmas tree and my furry red stocking already laid out. There were scones with jam and fat blobs of cream for breakfast the next day I got given a three tiered box of chocolates in a pale pink box, complete with gold embossing. It was from France, amazing and still two and a quarter levels full.

On Christmas Day I tore off layers of blue and red cellophane (remnants of an earlier shark attack work) to unveil a matchbox painting (well actually 4 paintings stuck together to make one very nice image) that my boyfriend made me. I especially loved the extra match striking detail on the side of the frame. The picture itself was of a matchbox the boy and I have tried to photograph repeatedly but to no avail - smoke sneaking out of a matchbox. Best present ever!

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little bird - given to Miss Cassandra, welcome home! [22 Dec 2008|10:18pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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Merry Christmas little birds. I hope no one gets trampled in the last minute rush.

x

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good things come in (very) small packages [16 Dec 2008|12:45pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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This week I’m not leaving a box, mainly because I left close to 100 last week. The group exhibition I’m in is now open and last week was spent installing, preparing and recovering from the opening. For two days it seemed entirely normal to be doing things like riding in truck with a life-sized animatronic horse in the back and frantically using bolt cutters in an attempt to save 4 boys from the 120kg kaleidoscope mirror installation they were supporting after it spontaneously snapped free from an overhead beam. They were panting, shaking, sweating and yelling at each other and were none too pleased when I asked sheepishly, ‘hey guys, so which one is the spanner?’

My own work was fairly straightforward to install, maybe just a little time consuming because of its size. Despite this, I was informed by the curator and his architect friend a good two or three hours into sticky taping my very small and individually mounted photos to the wall, that my work was in fact wonky. After a minor foot-stomping session, it was corrected and this was my displayed work, which made it from bedroom floor all the way to the gallery wall:

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I also hid boxes all round the gallery, no place to high or low to get to. And they all got found by night’s end. Hurrah!

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Many thanks to Benny for saving my butt one minute after the show opened with his shiny black Macbook so that this blog could be seen! And grumbles to the person (there was only one) who took to checking their email on it at the end of the night.

The week just gone was also a mailbox bonanza. My inbox told me that this project has been featured on ffffound!, which my uber talented designer brother Derrick informs me is the site for graphic designers. So cool!! I spent most of Sunday trawling through their incredible bank of shiny shiny images. And then Kluster issue 5 the loves issue came out too! My real mailbox brought me presents! Jay Dee, who once made a matchbox for this site, sent me these for Christmas, which were incredible and were applauded individually:

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The night before, my birthday present finally arrived all the way from New York, some 4 months later and much to my boyfriend’s relief over what we thought was a phantom present. The latest issue of McSweeny’s Quarterly! And inside, at the bottom of each page, there were pictures of matchbox labels from Eastern Europe.

And then it was off to the radio station to do an interview about the show with the curator Tony Curran, way too early on a Sunday morning. He spoke quite seriously in a very low voice and I giggled a little more than I would have liked.

Thank you to everyone who came to the show!! It’s open until mid January at TAP gallery, 278 Palmer st, Darlinghurst.
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three days and counting...- left at TAP gallery, Darlinghurst, heaps predictable [07 Dec 2008|08:44pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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The exhibition I'm in is opening on Wednesday! So the past week I have been very busy photoshopping my favourite boxes left so far, sawing, sanding and painting balsa wood to mount it on and getting ready for a mammoth cut and paste session sometime Monday. My boyfriend's had to clean up after me, I accidentally left a trail behind - white paint on the table, paintbrushes not quite cleaned properly, sawdust and tiny bits of cut up paper everywhere...

It's been a lot of fun and not stressful at all, I've still had time to make jelly and ice-cream and go to work. And the curator has been very nice to me.

I love this gummy gorilla. I bought a yellow one for myself (it was 40c!!) but promptly dropped it on the floor and it got all furry.

TAP Gallery Wednesday night! 278 Palmer St, Darlinghurst from 6-8pm. Come and collect a little thing!

x

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monster munchies - left at the UTS design grad show* [02 Dec 2008|05:25pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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My mother came to visit, arms predictably laden with plastic containers of leftovers ready to exchange for the organic loaves of bread my housemate brings home from work. At our favourite café, the one with dark wooden seating and black and white checkerboard floor we contemplated adding babycinos to our order, because the blackboard declared with glee that they were ‘FREE TO ALL!’ and she very nearly ordered pistachio gelato for breakfast.

Across the road we played in my favourite store, which also happens to be a baby store, complete with teeny tiny leggings with smiling ice-blocks printed on them in orange and blue. But aside from the baby clothes, knitted cupcakes and owl shaped bags we found jars of matchbox things, all for 40c! And so I stocked up on finger puppets, button badges and gummy gorillas, which I’m sure you will be seeing very soon.

Happy December!
I've spent the last few days parked in front of the tv and surrounded by millions of matchboxes in preparation for the art show next week! come visit me, I'm a little nervous!

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* I went to visit my brother's and his gf's work. It was very white but incredible, conceptually sound and perfectly executed. Jealousy is justified. Check them out at www.derrickandchristina.com.

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a whole lot of love fresh out of envelopes - left at the gunshop cafe, west end, brisbane [21 Nov 2008|12:15pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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By the time I reach home of an evening, at eleven or twelve o'clock, I'm having very ordinary thoughts about sleep, showering and hair-blowdrying. Only the last few days this ritual has been happily interrupted upon the sight of treats from my mailbox.

Last Monday, a pale pink envelope arrived with a hand drawn bunny clutching a balloon. A present from Haline bunnies. The next day the package was bigger and encased carefully in a padded bag.

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Instantly ecstatic I went about my night, the cookie shower ritual kicking in. The boyfriend was impatient and mildly bewildered. 'Open them! Open them!' he chanted repeatedly. But I wanted to savour them, their presence, contents as yet unknown, enough to make me very happy.

But opened they were with an assortment of treats nothing short of beautiful trickling out. Haline bunnies had made a postcard for me and written a story on the back:

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And from the very lovely, very thoughtful Nici from Blackbird Corner, a white paperbag with strawberries printed on it containing all manner of matchbox sized prizes and a pretty note.

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These troll dolls are from her and her sister and I had a lot of fun playing with their hair and tickling people with them that night before I fell to sleep.

Thank you very much.

*** Ooh! The Matchbox Project is going to be exhibited! Dec 10, if you're in Sydney please come play at TAP Gallery on Palmer St in Darlinghurst! Opening night from 6-9pm, it's my exhibition debut and I'm a little nervous. Show will be up from 8-21 December, as part of the Real Perspective group show. Line up is looking excellent.*****

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welcome to the dollhouse- slipped into the bag of the piano accompanist, Sydney Choir* [10 Nov 2008|03:34pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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I was never one for Barbies or dolls of any kind as a kid, I always thought they were kind of stupid and not fun to cuddle. But I rescued this little creature from a large silver pail filled with millions of other dolls one Sunday afternoon in Newcastle. I like her eyes, so much expression in not many lines. Super cute and ready for abandonment!

* Thank you Felicity bunnies for drop off!

x

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movember - left inside the platform vending machine, Lewisham station [03 Nov 2008|09:53pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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Now this is truly ridiculous which is exactly why I had to have it and spent ages staring at all the different characters of moustaches available at Blackbird Corner (curly, superthin…) before I chose this one, purely based on the practicality of its matchbox-friendly size. I especially love the instructions printed onto the packaging.

It actually reminded me of this series of photographs I have on my bedroom wall featuring the boys of my family – my Dad, 21 year old brother and pint sized primary school brother (who incidentally has just outgrown me) – sitting around and posing with a curly moustache that had been fashioned out of a bright red pipecleaner. I don’t know who made it but one afternoon after lunch it appeared and it just seemed like the best possible idea to start playing with it. My Dad wins the prize for most conscientious effort to keep the moustache on, his face all grimacing and tense. My youngest looks the same in every photograph we take, his well rehearsed silly face on and the older brother looks suitably contemplative, almost like he should be stroking his chin ala Rodin’s Thinker. The ladies of the house could not be persuaded to participate in this afternoon activity, me included.

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this little lamb is yours to keep - left at a cafe on Herbert st, Artarmon [28 Oct 2008|08:46pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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The boy is co-curating an art show, half of which takes place at Reverse Garbage and consequently I’ve spent the last two Sundays happily trawling the markets while he’s busy with meetings and site inspections. Dogs and hippie spawn are in abundance at the markets, accompanying the usual Gozleme and stalls selling organic everything and second hand clothes. I very nearly bought a handy spray bottle of Sleepy time spray, attracted to its milky colour and light blue label before realising I have sleepy enough existence as it is without any chemical or lavender based assistance. I did find this tiny china lamb at the Bowery, a recycling and re-use center (as in bower bird…) for the bargain price of a dollar!

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squeaky clean - left at 6.45pm on a City bound train [24 Oct 2008|12:12pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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It took a little over a year and a brand new camera to convince my family that matchboxing isn't that silly after all. Now they happily participate and upon their return from a trip to Indonesia to visit our extended family, presented me with many small presents - not for me per se but for the strangers who find these boxes. Yay! My littlest brother saved his aeroplane toothpaste and made this donation. The box, although it was bought in Indonesia, apparently is from Sweden. I like it, it's pretty.

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messages for maeve [14 Oct 2008|12:37pm]
Each week, a decorated matchbox with a tiny present hidden inside is left by a girl (and sometimes willing friends) somewhere in her travels. It's a random act of semi-artistic kindness aimed at disrupting someone's day in a tiny but positive way. That's if they dare to pick it up...

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A good buddy of mine (who also happens to be one of my most favourite food bloggers) has a lovely little girl who is about to turn 4.

With some serious bangs and a blunt bob to match she could pass for Suri Cruise and is an absolute joy to have around. My small role in her life is as the primary provider of star stickers, handy cos I always seem to have an abundance of them. It also means that she’s no longer shy when she sees me and I get greeted with squeals and hugs. Little M is extremely talkative and has informed me on numerous occasions that she’s allowed to get her ears pierced at 8, wear high heels at 16 and that after she turns 4 she will turn 5. She’s so cute that I don’t mind when she wipes her almond croissant face and paws all over me. And so a capsule collection of girly gifts for her.

And these cos only the under 5 can get away with them (not that I didn't try...)

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Happy birthday little M!

X

p.s The second series of Not Quite Art starts this week on ABC yay!! I saw the first 2 episodes when I was in Newcastle, introduced by the creator and host Marcus Westbury who is currently working on freeing up shopfronts and unrented spaces in Newcastle for artists and makers to use. The first series made me realise that this project wasn’t that silly after all and that I was a part of a culture I wasn’t even aware of. Tuesdays 10pm, ABCTV!
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